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Windows 7: How to test a macrium image to see if it will restore correctly

4 Weeks Ago   #1
provlima

 
 
How to test a macrium image to see if it will restore correctly

I have read about possible glitches when a macrium image is restored on the same PC it was created on.

Is there any way to do a trial run restore without affecting your OS and data?

Can the macrium image be restored on an external drive or in another another folder on your hdd.

I want to make sure that if the process of restoration is somehow flawed it doesnt destroy the OS and files on my PC
Hope this makes sense


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

The best way to ensure a Macrium Reflect image will restore is to set it to automatically verify a new image after making it. Click on Other Tasks at top of the window, then click on Edit Defaults. On the left side of the window that pops up, click on Auto Verify Image, then click on Verify image or backup file after creation. I've never had a verified image fail to restore unless there was a hardware glitch (such as a completely dead drive).

You also need to verify that your rescue media will work. First, shut down the computer, insert the USB stick or optical disk you used to create the rescue media, then reboot. The computer should open up in Win PE with Macrium Reflect embedded inside (it takes a while to boot). If it doesn't boot or goes into Win 7, then you will need to reset the boot order in the BIOS to place USB or the optical drive (depending on what you used for the rescue media) ahead of the drive Win 7 is installed on.

Once you have established that the rescue media is working, connect an empty external HDD or SSD (or a bare drive in a dock) to your computer and copy a few folders to that drive (don't put too much data on the drive otherwise the test will just take longer). Then make an image of that drive and save it on your computer somewhere. Erase the drive, then insert your rescue media and reboot the computer. When Win PE with Macrium Reflect has booted up, navigate to the image you just made and try to restore it to the external drive. If everything is working correctly and you are doing it correctly, you should be able to restore those folders to the external drive. Once finished, remove the rescue media, then click on the button in the lower left corner to exit Macrium Reflect and reboot the computer.

An Image should always be stored on a drive that is different than the drive being imaged since you cannot restore an image to the same drive it is stored on. External drives are safest for storing images. I cheat and store my C: drive images on another drive in my computer for convenience but I also back that drive to external drives just to play it safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #3
mrjimphelps

Dual Boot Linux Mint 32-bit / Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

The only way I know of to do a true test of a Macrium image (or any other image) is to do a restore. The problem is, if you do a restore, you wipe out what is currently installed.

If you have an extra hard drive available, you could install it in the target computer, and then restore your Macrium image to it. In this way, you won't erase anything that you are currently using.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
The only way I know of to do a true test of a Macrium image (or any other image) is to do a restore. The problem is, if you do a restore, you wipe out what is currently installed.

If you have an extra hard drive available, you could install it in the target computer, and then restore your Macrium image to it. In this way, you won't erase anything that you are currently using.
Did you even read what I posted?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #5
mrjimphelps

Dual Boot Linux Mint 32-bit / Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Did you even read what I posted?
I skimmed through it the first time. Having just reread it, I see that you advised the user to restore the image to an external drive. I agree that that will be sufficient, if you then boot from that drive to make sure.

I like to duplicate every detail possible, and that's why I would put a blank internal drive in the target computer instead of the drive that is currently installed, and then restore to that drive. However, your method is a lot easier than mine, and it will sufficiently test the backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Restoring the image to a spare internal drive is the acid test. If you have the money for a cheap HDD then do the test. Replace the OS drive with the test drive and disconnect all other HDDs/SSDs to be safe.
Alternatively boot to the rescue media, be sure that you can browse to the image then mount it and see that you can browse your files. Unmount the image before rebooting your PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #7
mrjimphelps

Dual Boot Linux Mint 32-bit / Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Restoring the image to a spare internal drive is the acid test. If you have the money for a cheap HDD then do the test. Replace the OS drive with the test drive and disconnect all other HDDs/SSDs to be safe.
Alternatively boot to the rescue media, be sure that you can browse to the image then mount it and see that you can browse your files. Unmount the image before rebooting your PC.
In fact, if your hard drive is getting old, you can get a new drive and restore the image to the new drive; then if everything is ok with the restore, leave the new drive in the computer, and put the old drive in a static bag, and store it. There are several benefits to doing this:
  • The old drive becomes a full backup of your system - it's easy to simply reinstall the old drive and be back in business.
  • A new drive would likely be bigger and faster than the old drive.
  • By replacing the old drive with a new drive, you are setting the hard drive failure clock back to zero.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #8
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
In fact, if your hard drive is getting old, you can get a new drive and restore the image to the new drive; then if everything is ok with the restore, leave the new drive in the computer, and put the old drive in a static bag, and store it. There are several benefits to doing this:
  • The old drive becomes a full backup of your system - it's easy to simply reinstall the old drive and be back in business.
  • A new drive would likely be bigger and faster than the old drive.
  • By replacing the old drive with a new drive, you are setting the hard drive failure clock back to zero.
Of course you can use a new drive if you don't have a spare drive lying around. A 1TB WD Blue would cost around the $50 mark. I think the main objective was to have confidence a Macrium image would restore correctly. You can image a small test data partition but that wouldn't give me the confidence that imaging the OS then have the restore boot correctly.

I have a fully operational backup drive but that has limitations in that it won't have the latest updates or the latest installed software. It's probably better to have a number of up to date images and a spare/new drive so you can be back in business quite quickly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #9
subyroo

Dual Boot of WinXP Pro SP3 & Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
In fact, if your hard drive is getting old, you can get a new drive and restore the image to the new drive; then if everything is ok with the restore, leave the new drive in the computer, and put the old drive in a static bag, and store it. There are several benefits to doing this:
  • The old drive becomes a full backup of your system - it's easy to simply reinstall the old drive and be back in business.
  • A new drive would likely be bigger and faster than the old drive.
  • By replacing the old drive with a new drive, you are setting the hard drive failure clock back to zero.
I had 2 NEW WD 2TB Ext HDD that I used for backups of my wife's & my own PC's once a month, they were both stored in separate static bags. Blow me down they both failed together, the heads were stuck.
Goodbye HDD's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to test a macrium image to see if it will restore correctly




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